Chapter 20: Teenage Brains

Children’s brains are different to adults’ brains, and that is reflected in how they reason – they are not simply ‘miniature adults’. We know, for example, that their brains mature at very different rates, and that they are very influenced by peer pressure (neuroscience reveals this, but we all know it from our teenage experiences). Adolescents have less self-control than adults, which has been linked to their rates of committing crimes. The brain isn’t fully developed until we are about 25, leading some people to question why our criminal justice system classes 18 year olds as adults.